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Is this acceptable biting policy from my cm? Also smoking question

(18 Posts)
nulgirl Tue 10-Nov-09 20:58:28

In the last month I have started my ds (11 months) at a cm for 2 mornings a week to allow me to look for a job. I will bump up his hours to 3 days a wk when I (hopefully) find something. The cm is in her 50s and is quite old-school (and is a former primary school teacher). I thought this would be good for my son as he would form a loving and firm bond with her. In addition the cm has said that she'll take my dd (3.2) during her nursery school holidays

I have 2 concerns with her that is making me question whether I should be removing my ds

1. Today I mentioned to her that my ds bit my arm this weekend but said that I thought it was because he's teething. She looked in horror and said well I hope you shouted at him. I said that I said no firmly and put him on the floor. She then went on to say that she didn't know what she'd do if he turned out to be a biter as she couldn't have him biting the other children in her care. She said that she'd have to strap him in the pushchair to stop him hurting the others.

2. I can smell smoke sometimes in her house and his clothes sometimes smell of smoke. When questioned she said that her husband smoked but not around the children.

I am an awful coward at dealing with this kind of thing and she is so forceful in a nice way. I also don't know what I'd do for childcare if we didn't use her. I discussed it with my dh and he said that he wasn't comfortable with it but to post it in mumsnet and get your views.

What is the view of whether these things are acceptable/ allowed by a cm? She got a "v good" rating across the board from the Care Commission (we're in scotland). Do cm not have to handle things like discipline in a standard way?

looneytune Tue 10-Nov-09 21:06:54

Oh dear, I actually have a set biting policy and it's definitely in line with what YOU do and certainly not what she said. If she's saying she 'doesn't know what she'd do if they did that' then maybe she's not cut out for the job? Sorry but we have to deal with ALL SORTS of behaviour and it's our job to HELP the child learn from right and wrong.

As for the smoke, a big no no. My dh smokes outside and never around the children and you'd never smell smoke in my house. The fact you can smell it on the clothes is more worrying because say a door was left over and it was coming in, yeah, you may smell it around but that wouldn't be enough to make the clothes smell!!!

Sorry, alarm bells for me I'm afraid

xoxcherylxox Tue 10-Nov-09 21:14:33

i had a child who was a terrible biter he used to bit every1 and any1 for no reason at hall it got to the stage that i had to follow him everywhere at toddlers and nobody wanted him near there child so now when i hear any1 say oh he bit im like oh no i hope he/she doesnt turn out to be a biter and its a one of and i tell them about my experience and how much of a nightmare it was. i spoke to his mum and we agree to try all different things from distraction to removing and sitting on chair to being put in buggy or travel cot nothing wrked his mum even told me to bite him back but i couldnt do that. thats what she did at home and he finally stopped it there as he new she would bite him back. my own daughter started it a little but she did get bit back and it didnt really come to anything.

as for the smoking while wrking no1 should be allowed to smoke in the house that doesnt mean though that her house will not smell of smoke as the minute the last child leaves then they family is free to smoke as much as they like but the smell will hang about on there couch, furniture curtains ect. i would say that if her husband is smoking while she is wrking really he should be about in the garden with door shut but they may think its ok to just go upstairs to a bedroom where the children dont go and smoke there which mean that the smell would travel downstairs and your son would have the smell on his clothes.

i would say that discipline is handled different by different ppl all children are different and what wrks for one child mite not wrk for an other child, but it is about talking to the parent and both of use agreeing and trying different things till use get something that suits.

ps i am a childminder in scotland

nulgirl Tue 10-Nov-09 21:16:56

Thanks loneytunes I was kind of expecting that response. I was just so happy to have found an arrangement that suited and on paper and from speaking to her she seemed perfect.

I need to speak to her don't I? Should I explain that I'm not happy with her comments about biting and say about the clothes smelling? Are cm allowed to have smoking in the house or does it contravene the regs?

Am such a coward about this type of thing. I always end up almost apologising and then accepting a half arsed response

xoxcherylxox Tue 10-Nov-09 21:20:58

i would def say they are not allowed to smoke while working but out with theses times it is there home so i dont think there could be regualtions about them not being allowed to smoke in their own house while not working but that maybe they should make sure that there house has plenty of air fresheners

nulgirl Tue 10-Nov-09 21:23:28

Cross posted with you cheryl. Am slow typer. Thanks for your pov. Has made me feel less despondant. Will still speak to her and say that I'm not concerned about the smell of smoke. I wouldn't let anyone smoke in our house or leave him in a smoky environment so not happy about him being in that esp if for 3 full days a week

nulgirl Tue 10-Nov-09 21:24:25

whoops typo. meant to say I AM concerned about the smell

MaryMotherOfCheeses Tue 10-Nov-09 21:24:29

Is she the only cm in the area? I'd be looking for a different one.

A child smelling of smoke is a big no for me, plus the not knowing what to do in case of biting sound like she's actually not very experienced (in spite of being ex teacher).

Assuming there is no immediate alternative, I'd say something next time the smoke smell occurs, and I'd ask her about how he's getting on re biting and whether he's done it again. Then you can check out how she's handling it.

nannynick Tue 10-Nov-09 21:30:00

I'm with your DH, I wouldn't be comfortable with it either. If moving your child to another provider isn't an option, then I'm not sure what your options are. Is finding someone else really not an option?

xoxcherylxox Tue 10-Nov-09 21:30:39

forgot to say i watch 2 different children and both mums smoke one even smokes in the car occasionally with child there and i have never once smelt smoke off of either child. however when my daughter goes with her dad to her grans she comes back stinking of smoke and they actually havent smoked around hers its just there clothes stink and so does there house so it rubs off on my daughter when they pick her up

nulgirl Tue 10-Nov-09 21:37:42

Am sure there are other cm in the area. We live in glasgow. This was just so convenient as she lives 1/2 mile away, takes my ds and will do holiday cover for dd. We moved dd from a private nursery to a state nursery school (which has wrap around care) as the cm could take her in the hols. She also lives across the road from the new building of my dd's nursery school and future primary school that my kids will go to. Don't think it will be easy to find someone that perfect - well on paper anyway. Sob

Think I'll say that I'm not happy about the smoking and see what she says. Her husband has just taken early retirement so this is possibly a new issue for her. Will say I'd like to discuss her biting policy in more detail if the need arises. In the meantime I'll explore other options

thebody Tue 10-Nov-09 21:44:33

can i just add re the smoke smell, I dont know if this is the case here but I have an open wood fire and this sometimes does pervade the house and clothes and last week the childrens nap blankets had a smokey smell!!! felt awful and had to explain to parents, they were all fine with this... maybe that could be the cause!! though if hubbi smokes then its probably him realistically.

Biting would be dealt with firmly by removing the child to the naughty step.. I would never strap a child to any buggy or high chair as a punishment... bizare...

I would be worried if a cm said she 'didnt know how to deal with biting' most children do it at some stage.. thats her job..

xoxcherylxox Tue 10-Nov-09 21:52:05

was it a serious comment or could she mayb just have said it as in "oh no dont no what id do" with a sigh and a we laugh as ive been think i prob say things like that all the time but doesnt actually mean i wouldnt no what to do if it happened.

MaryMotherOfCheeses Tue 10-Nov-09 21:56:18

Wood smoke has a different smell to fags. Deffo.

nulgirl Tue 10-Nov-09 22:04:51

No wood fire so thats not the cause.

Tbh I'm not sure what I'd do if he turned into a prolific biter. My dd only bit v once or twice and that was because she was bitten a couple of times at her old nursery. My ds is still very little - not even 1 yet although very mobile and he runs and climbs everywhere. Not sure that anything really works at that age except distracting them or removing them from the situation and saying no.

She seemed almost panicky when I told her which seems strange considering she has 3 older kids of her own and has looked after lots of other children. She claimed to have never had a biter before so maybe it was just a gut reaction and she wouldn't really do that if the situation arose. Just would hate the thought of my darling ds being looked after ny someone who though he was akin to the devil

FoofFighter Tue 10-Nov-09 22:04:57

I have mindees who's parents soke outside yet I can still smell it on them, on jackets in particular. As cheryl poiinted out, once the mindees aren't there it is their own home to smoke in if they wish. Maybe they need to air it more.

As for biting, I've not had a biter before and would have to look into how best to handle it, as she says you can't have them biting the other children or their parents may pull them out too, rock and a hard place I suppose. Did she maybe mean it in the same way, not had one and doesn't genuinely know?

leeloo1 Tue 10-Nov-09 22:37:19

At 11 months your poor baby son is much more likely to be teething than turning into a prolific biter - very that he is potentially being labelled as such. My DS has just turned 1 and if I put my fingers/hand near his mouth he'll happily chew away (painful now he has 4 teeth)!

Your CM sound more used to older children - strapping into buggies/naughty steps/thinking time are just not on for such little ones! Appropriate responses to biting in this situation (IMHO) are a firm no and distracting them and you need to let her know what you would find acceptable in this situation.

As other people have said, its against the regulations to let anyone smoke near children while you're childminding and I'd be very worried about the effects of passive smoking on a little one. In school I taught 4 year olds whose bags/books/clothes stank of smoke and I found it disgusting so (if it was me) I'd be saying that if it happened again I'd be handing notice in!

pippin26 Wed 11-Nov-09 08:15:33

Not sure of the regs in Scotland re smoking etc but I would find it unacceptable for my child to come home smelling of cigarettes. England (childminding regs) says that there is no smoking on the premises while childminding is taking place.

AS for the biting (policy) - no thats unacceptable and this lady needs to revise/update her policy.

Talk to her - ask for an appointment and discuss it with her. If you are not happy, look for alternative childcare.

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